Happy BIrthday Ayn Rand - Why You Are Still Misunderstood

seymourblogger's picture
Submitted by seymourblogger on Thu, 2012-02-02 21:08

I think it's the intellectual quality of her supporters that continually force a misunderstanding of Rand. Just as Stephenie Meyer's Twilight is misunderstood because of the mass hysteria of hard core twifans. To use just 2 examples. There are many more.

Sufi saying: If you hang around with crows, you don't get to hear the nightingales.

We know that Peikoff has kept Rand's Objectivism enclosed in a closed system. Others have not and have advocated for it to be an open system to allow for change and growth.

My reading of that is: open it up for spinning.

Sciabarra's very fine book, and well written as well as well thought, The Russian Radical,
makes this very clear. Rand knew that to keep control it would have to remain closed. She did not want her ideas, her thoughts, her examples, etc to be mangled, misinterpreted, counter-interpreted by all and sundry. In this she was correct whether we agree with her on it or not. She was interested in stasis, not dynamic growth, and Peikoff as her heir has respected her wishes and held firm against all criticism, and it has been virulent and constant.

Peikoff's existential choice has been courageous. It may be wrong but it is brave.

In this Rand is following Nietzsche. No one of any major importance has tried to spin Nietzsche. He never formalized his philosophical thought because he already knew that when you do you invite the vultures in.

"I do not want to be a flyswatter," said Nietzsche. Well Rand understood him perfectly on that. What she missed was his warning, "Beware of disciples!"

If you do not formalize your work then you cannot be misinterpreted. A school of thought cannot be set up to teach it. You have in one move escaped the Dominating Discourse of the dialectic. And in doing that Nietzsche taught us how to escape also.

My mathematician friend once said to me, "If they tried to teach children how to talk, half of them would never learn."

Nietzsche has been misunderstood for over 100 years now. He is just coming into the sun. Rand's shadow is following him. It is her fiction following Nietzsche, that ensures her greatness, not the formalized Objectivism.

( categories: )

Ah brant but this one is special

seymourblogger's picture

specially made just for me by darren.

Say something interesting. Instead of all these little zaps you are so fond of. Or should I say slaps.

Zap slaps from brant. Get your zap slaps from brant. Hot off the press. Two for a nickel.

I wonder if brant will think that's funny enuf. Nope. Prolly not.

Yes I can

Brant Gaede's picture

No you can't.

Janet, your old avatar was much, much better--and sexier

brant here I thought all along

seymourblogger's picture

people wanted to talk about Rand and her work. Why didn't you just tell me OL and here were just places to tell jokes.

I can do that.


Jules Troy's picture

Smiling Smile


Brant Gaede's picture

Finally, you hit the funny.


as I said brant

seymourblogger's picture

You are a kiss and slap kind of guy. Some women find that very sexy.


Brant Gaede's picture

I "hang with her." I what?

I've roasted her on a spit multiple scores of times

Ah seymourblogger say sorry say sorry to brant

seymourblogger's picture

You hang with her so I thought you might tell her.At least you hang with her when you are gang banging me. You don't have to you know. Just a mini suggestion. She doesn't need to know. It can be our dirty little secret.


Brant Gaede's picture

You're replying to Xray, not me. She's German. I don't think English is her first language though she's quite good with it.

very tired of your sloppy


seymourblogger's picture

It has nothing to do with me being in PETA

As long as we are on the subject of English syntax : It is my being, not me being. The gerund is preceded by the possessive case.

However, this is in such Saussurean flux right now that it no longer makes any difference unless you had English teachers who were sticklers. Obviously they didn't live long enough to read modern fiction or listen to TV newscasters, or read journalists in the New York Times nowadays.

I think me being is going to win out over time if it hasn't already.


Jules Troy's picture

Those fuzzy lil yellow baby chickens are called "chicks".

Brant Gaede wrote: [quote]

Xray's picture

Brant Gaede wrote:

[quote] "Why didnt you say "chickens" in the first place? I should have known since you're in PETA.

like they care about chickens in China" [end quote]

The reason why I didn't use "chickens" goes back to a very early mistake I made many years ago, when starting English as a foreign language. It thought "chickens" referred only to the young, the babies of the domestic fowl.
Although I later learned that "chickens" does not only refer to the young offspring, somehow I could not really get that early mistake out of system; to this day, I avoid using "chickens", replacing the term by "hens" or "roosters" instead.

That's all that was behind it. It has nothing to do with me being in PETA. Smiling

brant not in PETA

seymourblogger's picture

I just rescue dogs. Occasionally I will steal an unhappy dog to get it adopted into a hime that really wants to love and take care of it. Property rights can suck sometimes. So I don't care.

brant free range eggs are better and cheaper

seymourblogger's picture

which are the 2 reasons the pub wants them. They don't care about the hens. Wish they did. Whatever works.


Brant Gaede's picture

Why didnt you say "chickens" in the first place? I should have known since you're in PETA.

like they care about chickens in China

Brant Gaede wrote: "The

Xray's picture

Brant Gaede wrote:

"The global move to more empathy and caring is simply your projecting what you think should be onto what is." [end quote]

Not only has every progress in ethics started out with a "should be" that was posited to improve an "is" - many of those "should be"s have already become an "is", like e. g. the abolition of slavery.
Animal rights are another example. When I was kid in the 1950/60s, no none in my environment seemed to give thought as to issues like e. g. the suffering of caged hens. Whereas now, more and more people favor buying eggs from free range chicken.
All this is happening in the greater context of an "expanding circle" of pathocentric ethics whose goal is to reduce suffering (as far as possible).

Brant how about capitalism's "rape" of resources in the 3rd

seymourblogger's picture

world? So we can have cheap everything? It's a Foucauldian power/knowledge/capital grid. Our social programs are our way of buying off the masses. Just as bread and circuses was Rome's way.

Global ethics

Brant Gaede's picture

The global move to more empathy and caring is simply your projecting what you think should be onto what is. Never mind the gross discrepancies. When you live on two dollars a day and half for food, you have no room for price increases that change it to 3/4ths for food. You have even less for "empathy and caring." The European welfare state model, in which you are steeped, is bankrupting Europe and America increasingly paid for by commodity price inflation driving up the price of food world wide. Next comes the big war. We may end up calling it WWIII.


Janet wrote: "Nietzsche has

Xray's picture

Janet wrote:
"Nietzsche has been misunderstood for over 100 years now. He is just coming into the sun." (end quote)

Global ethics is moving away from Nietzsche. Instead it is moving toward more empathy and caring.


Xray's picture

Seymourblogger (Janet)wrote:

[quote]"Transformation and transcendence have to be considered. Transformation rests on the assumption of linear time. Since linear time is a human construct and does not exist in reality, since it is a perceptual illusion, then your assertion that transformation is a universal principle is incorrect. Rand herself argued against cyclical time and linear time, preferring the straight line going somewhere." [end quote]

One of the most efficient epistemological tools is Occam's razor, which in this context means that all you need is to be aware that everything in the cosmos is in permanent motion, which results in permanent change. It's that simple.

[Quote](Janet) "Since linear time is a human construct and does not exist in reality, since it is a perceptual illusion, then your assertion that transformation is a universal principle is incorrect."[end quote]

If for example, you have to throw away a piece of stinking cheese that has turned moldy, you know what has happened to it, don't you? I suppose you won't bite into it reassurng yourself that any concepts of time that has elapsed (during which in our example the chees changed from stage A (edible) to stage B (inedbile) is "perceptual illusion". Big smile

[quote](Janet): As to favoring an open or closed system, why would it be important to you which I favored if I did? Why would my favoring matter to you?[end quote]

Getting a clearer idea of who I'm dealing with in a discussion gives me something to hang my hat on.
As a rule, closed-system advocates tend to be more doctrinary than open-system types, which has an influence on the discussion.

[quote](Janet): No one can stop Rand's work and keep it closed. Even she couldn't. Impossible. Peikoff is the Dutch girl holding her finger in the dike. For how long can she stand there and do it all alone. [end quote]

Closed-system advocates don't want to "stop" Rand's work . They want to spread it like all other Objectivists. But they want to keep it 'pure', and also shield it and defend it from influences which they judge as detrimental.
But proceeding like that results in a cementing of the 'pure' doctrine (or what they think is the pure doctrine) which is why, ironically, the graikeepers contribute to that which they want to avoid at all costs: the death of the doctrine.

[Quote](Janet) Peikoff has no power. [end quote]
He has, for example, the power to deny authors the access to Rand's unpublished writings.

As i said earlier..

Jules Troy's picture

Ok I drop in from time to time here and rebirth of reason while I have a moment or two while I am at work during coffee breaks etc.
I have very little time which is why all my posts are antipolish. I say as little as possible in order to get my points known. I do this out of necessity due to the fact that I am working 16 hour shifts. As much as I may have liked to help you time constraints would not allow it.

I am sure there are some good people there as well. However I have no desire to pollute my brain with the incessant amount of pomowanking I would have to endure from people with severe drinking problems (I do so very much enjoy linz's defenition of that term haha).

On a side note for some unknown reason I am now able to use caps andddddd punctuation GOod GALT No more run on sentences YAY!!

lindsay you regret you are estranged?

seymourblogger's picture

So don't regret it. Don't be estranged anymore.

selene over at OL could broker a peace for you. I mean it. If you don't you are going to be very unhappy in the near future.

lindsay you are a shit sometimes

seymourblogger's picture

I got sucked into the dialectic of replying in "good faith" when they were not. Besides there a few people there that are quite fine and that acted as Deterrence. So it took longer than it usually does for me.is first post to me was one of those semi in earnest oh tell me more about that I realy want to learn blah blah blah.

Then a mish mash of stuff showing a brain stirred up into a tasteless stew. then a link to a story of his that was eager for my opinion.

He got it: he didn't like it either. From then on: WAR!

The problem with him tho is that his thinking is so flat earth, and he doesn't have a clue.

Only POMO thinking can unfold it. Sorry. Should be fun.

Janet re Chris

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Sciabarra is indeed a lovely man. I like him very much, and miss him. Somewhere here is an account of our time together in Brooklyn. I regret that we are estranged. I enjoyed (but didn't agree with the thesis of) Russian Radical. After that his books became more and more incomprehensible in their Polish.

I gave you the link for Polish, but here it is anyway:

Polish:The incomprehensible gibberish of Chris Sciabarra when he's writing for an academic audience. The principle of Polish is: why use one short word when one hundred long ones will suffice?! The premise of Polish is that everything is bewilderingly, intractably complex. The upshot of Polish is: paralysis. Exactly what its Brandroid (q.v.) practitioners intend.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

You lost me at the local pub and hacker boyz. But I think I got the rest of it. It would seem I did get the wrong end of the stick. My apologies. One thing concerns me though:

I have essentially left (took me about 8 days to bring MSK to his intellectual knees)

Why did it take 8 days to do what even the fluffiest of lightweights could do in 8 seconds?! Wink

lindsay don't bash sciabarra to me

seymourblogger's picture

I did have to laugh at your comment tho.

Sciabarra is a lovely lovely man. You don't understand him? You don't like him? You don't like him because you don't understand him? You don't understand him but you like him?

I give you the benefit of the doubt. His account is very impartial in The Russian Radical. And it's very readable. Not difficult at all. What do you mean Polish? Funny tho.

lindsay wait wait wait

seymourblogger's picture

u are drawing the wrong conclusions. In less than 2 weeks there I have managed to antagonize, furyize, murderize just about everyone over there. All I wanted from troy was a date correction on an article I posted there in a comment defending Peikoff from their bashing.

I have essentially left (took me about 8 days to bring MSK to his intellectual knees) but I went back to defend the character of Eric Packer and L Peikoff. DeLillo, goucault, and Baudrillard can take care of themselves, which they bashed to taunt me.

I agree they are a dismal bunch, but that is perhaps being too kind. Your adjectives are much better I think.

I may have to go play little old lady at my local pub. I take free range chicken eggs there as the chef uses local organic food for his concoctions. So everyone likes me since I do it for free. Ha! I get a gourmet meal out of it so it's win/win for both of us.

But the first and last time I whimpered to them about how mean I was being treated somewhere, the hacker boyz conned me. Oh where? What kind of site? Really? Oh that's a shame.

When I got home, checked my email, checked the site that had banned me to read only, porn was being splashed all over it at the rate of thousands a minute. One of her sites was washed clean. I could not believe my eyes. Still I didn't connect the dots. My bf did that for me while he laughed and laughed.

It ended up with the hackerboyz talking to her newly acquired IT people, who couldn't figure out how they were gaming her. It's like lawyers and judges, all in bed together. Same with hackerboyz and IT people. They pick each other's brains. And someone else pays for the time.

Well when my bf checked the site he told me how much it cost her. about 100K.

So I hope it's a cookie glitch otherwise I am going to wipe my eyes and squeeze out a few tears to the hackerboyz and this time I am going to con them. I have no idea what they will do or won't do. One never knows with those guys. No hackergirlz like Liz Salander with them yet but I'm hoping.

We could set up one of those little voter thingys: yes/no go whimper to the hackerboyz

I would like to go back there and play defense for some people who need it. Like Peikoff. Or Rand (now that she's dead she needs it sometimes) and avoid all the ones who make it personal and nasty. It only took a few days for me to find out who they were and MSK heads the bunch. Reminds me of the father of the family who incites competition and hostility in his children as a way of controlling them. It's a vey effective method until you wake up and realize that that's what he's doing.

I'd rather destroy him my way. Insidiously, with words. He's asked for it. And I can ruin him just doing what I do. I don't even have to try. And you know he is Rand's definition of evil. And Arendt's. Banal boy that he is.

troy u nd crs spdritin

seymourblogger's picture

I just got told by someone to stop abbreviating, assuming they knew what I was talking about and now I get this comment from you.

pomowanking weasly shitbags = -pomoshtbgs ( do u lk tht)

i beg tch u now.

lv me


Lindsay Perigo's picture

I'm glad you mentioned your admiration for Sciabarra. That made it clear to me why I don't understand a word you post: you're a fan of Sciabarrian Polish. Well, fine. We're very broad-minded here.

But asking someone, on this forum, to go help you out at O-Lying is bad-mannered, to say the least. That place is—or at least was, when I last checked, several years ago—a repository for the lowest life-forms that exist. In itself that makes it contemptible; that these creatures—whose currency is lies, smears, humanity-diminution ... and sneering, sniggering nihilism—claim to promote "Objectivist living" places them beyond contempt. You should show better form than to try to enlist folk here—a decent place—to help you there: a sewer. Having a sexy avatar is not a license for anything at all, you know!

no time

Jules Troy's picture

honestly i dont have the time as im at work.. i sneak peaks here and there when i have a moment.


2..i have no desire to ever pollute my semi working no caps or punctuation capable phone of ever going to msk website.


im sure that there are some good people there however there are also those that i have absolutely no respect whatsoever for  who i would be more than happy to eloquently  tell them to go fuck themselves as they are pomowanking weasly shitbags...so no sorry can5t help ya.

troy please do me a favor and correct something at OL for me

seymourblogger's picture

I referred a comment I made about sex in the Atlantic Monthly and said jan/feb 2009 Instead it is 2011 that those sex articles appeared by two women saying virtually the same thing Peikoff is getting trashed today for saying about date rape.

Here's the link: http://www.theatlantic.com/mag...

Please paste it. Just say I made a mistake so you don't have to be associated with me over there.


Jules Troy's picture

msk would be afraid to offend his own shadow...as for founding fathers or anyone for that matter i dont think anyone should ever feel afraid to stand up and state hey this statement or that theory is complete bullshit...if in fact it is bullshit. just back it up with flawless logic reason and facts that way no one can really say anything unless of course it is subjective and invalid..win win

there are no conflicts between rational men..words to live by...and women..people..

well troy it seems as if I have been too much for

seymourblogger's picture

Michael Stuart Kelley and today at OL I was quite restrained and proper. I thought. I did say fuck. Oh my!

They were tearing apart Peikoff for his comments on rape and I defended him. Since two women who wrote about sex in the2009 jan/feb issue of Atlantic Monthly said the same thing he did. To be sure they were reluctant that their logic took them there, as they didn't want to go there and were forced, kicking and screaming all the way.

I am tired of all this obj infighting and refusal to critically evaluate the founding fathers and daughters for fear of alienating them from their site. They end up with a group that is like a dysfunctional family disallowing any input that might confront the party line.

Glad I amuse you. I even seem to be amusing darren lately. don't you just love the avi he made me? No one has ever done such a nice thing like that for me before. I wonder what he would like as a counter-gift? Ideas?

ohh man.. you

Jules Troy's picture

ok made me laugh...not fair Tired

troy what a lovely comparison

seymourblogger's picture

natural mescaline oh boy. I once had access to 1 gallon of it that we had made. A great story. If you ask I'll tell you about it.

good galt..

Jules Troy's picture

sb your like psyllocybin mushrooms reading you makes my brain swell and my spine bleed.

x-ray an error in your thinking

seymourblogger's picture

Since everything that exists in the cosmos is in permanent transformation,

Transformation and transcendence have to be considered. Transformation rests on the assumption of linear time. Since linear time is a human construct and does not exist in reality, since it is a perceptual illusion, then your assertion that transformation is a universal principle is incorrect. Rand herself argued against cyclical time and linear time, preferring the straight line going somewhere.

As to favoring an open or closed system, why would it be important to you which I favored if I did? Why would my favoring matter to you?

No one can stop Rand's work and keep it closed. Even she couldn't. Impossible. Peikoff is the Dutch girl holding her finger in the dike. For how long can she stand there and do it all alone.

Rand and her work is an Event as Foucault would say. Baudrillard prefers irruption. Both of these terms mean that endless resonances, consequences, etc are spiraling out into the world. Peikoff is powerless to do anything at all about that. Why bother with him about that. Regard the irruption that followed Nietzsche's work. World War II for crissakes. He desperately wanted to stop war and he realized before dying that he could not. and even his own words added fuel to the flame of war.

Don't worry about this. It doesn't matter. You want it open, then consider it open. Period. Then go on as for you it wiol be open. Who cares what Peikoff thinks.

I don't. I don't even care what Michael Stuart Kelley thinks. Or Lindsay, who is not an authoritarian gatekeeper.

Your problem with this is how you hold the construct of power. Peikoff has no power. Neither does anyone else. Power lies in the interstices of the power/knowledge grid Foucault has so painstakingly identified for us. No one has it, can trade it, give it away, acquire it, buy it, be born with it etc etc etc. Power is in a permanent relation with knowledge: power/knowledge are always together, never separate. We have two choices: resistance or to implode it. Resistance is Foucauolt's term and implosion is Baudrillard's term. Sometimes you choose vanilla and sometimes you choose chocolate.


Xray's picture

Seymourblogger wrote:
"Whether I prefer it open or closed doesn't matter. It's what Rand preferred that matters and Peikoff has done the honorable thing." [end quote]
To me it matters a lot whether someone favors an open or a closed philosophical system.

Since everything that exists in the cosmos is in permanent transformation, trying to keep a system closed and thus shut off from transformation is going against a universal principle. This is the philosophical aspect that interests me.

x-ray what part of my quote didn't you understand?

seymourblogger's picture

Whether I prefer it open or closed doesn't matter. It's what Rand preferred that matters and Peikoff has done the honorable thing.

Do I think he would not have been able to handle opening it up? Yep. It is possible that was a variable in the decision. We will never know.

As for "nit-picking" over the word decade when it has been 6 1/2 years, 3 weeks, 17 days, 41 minutes and 45 seconds and I don't know how many nano seconds since OL gave birth. Besides the argument you think I ought to engage in is within the Discourse of the dialectic. NOTHING I could say over there would do anything except provoke counter-interpretations and counter-arguments "Til The End of Time" I will hate you Til The End Of Time" La lala la.

And then I will forget what I said because I am old and my memory is shot and Tellen Scuttle will come after me again and hurt my feelings.

http://www.solopassion.com/nod... This is my post here on Moneyball. I hope you have seen it. My own blog links are also there. But OL is exactly like the round table meeting in the beginning where all the recruiters and field coaches are pounding their suggestions as to what they need to do to rebuild the Oakland A's after losing 3 of their best players.

Whe Beane decides to try a different way, the next meeting is quite different. The Disoucrse of the dialectic has completely changed the dynamic by changing the METHOD. The Discourse Dominence has changed because Beane is running the show and he has changed the Discourse. It is no longer in the dialectic but now is about strategy.

What is the strategy? Simple. does the prospective recruit gt on base or not. Period. Nothing else. No dialectic. No discussion. No nitpicking. Just this is the way we are going to do it. My way or the highway.

Then after he is correct in practice by winning 20 games straight, goes to Boston to look into their offer (13 mil, the highest ever offered a general manager) the Boston owner says,

You have changed the DISCOURSE of baseball. The dinosaurs will keep on but they are finished. You have changed baseball. THIS IS FOUCAULT, THE DOMINATING DISCOURSE, WHICH CHANGES VERY VERY FAST. Not by increments as Kuhn discusses the paradigm change.

You want me to stay at the round table endlessly discussing what doesn't work just to please the people who like that discourse.


Janet wrote: "If Rand

Xray's picture

Janet wrote:

"If Rand wished it to remain a closed system, and if Peikoff wanted to obey her wishes, then Peikoff did the right thing in keeping Objectivism a closed system." [end quote]
But suppose Rand wished Objectivism to remain a closed system, but you would prefer it as an open system, would you still say Peikoff did the right thing in keeping it closed?

I'm interested in your personal stance on the issue, and have the impression that you lean more toward keping Objectivsm closed.

As for your comments about OL being "a site that nitpicks over statements": preciseness is an essential element for a philosophy forum, hence the requirement to qualify one's statements by providing sources, to elaborate further in case something comes across as unclear, etc. Errors are always possible, and if they are pointed out, one can only learn.

How terrible!! You pay to

Leonid's picture

How terrible!! You pay to the people who volunteered to risk their lives to protect you and this turned them to into mercenaries. Obviously, money is a root of all evil, ( or love of it). Don't you understand that difference between a volunteer and mercenary is not a payment, but motivation?For mercenary the primary goal of his service is money. For volunteer, even if you pay him a salary, the primary goal is protection of his country.

Re- your example: where is a contradiction?

No x-ray

seymourblogger's picture

Can't I applaud Hitler for the VW and the Doberman dog? And the autobahn? That doesn't mean I thought Hitler did the right thing.

If Rand wished it to remain a closed system, and if Peikoff wanted to obey her wishes, then Peikoff did the right thing in keeping Objectivism a closed system.

The imp[ortant word is IF. In the syntax of English, if means the subjunctive case. The subjunctive case means "WHAT IF" It doesn't mean agreement the way you are thinking the word agreement.

Your problem is that you spend a lot of time on a site that nit picks over statements. They are picking at the leaves and can't even see the trees. So everyone there gets in the habit of qualifying everything they say.

Example: My comment on reading OL for a decade. Liar! The site hasn't been in existence for a decade! If you are sloppy with that fact that means you are sloppy with all facts. You are old and have a bad memory, that's just natural. No offense tho.

So if I want to say I have read OL I have to say about a decade, a decade more or less a few years, or a decade but I am not sure........OK? Obviously these people do not text a lot or they would develop the habit of quick and dirty and fast.

I hv rd OL 10y. The habit of qualifying everything you say is just too slow. But on OL they are in the habit, they write that way, talk that way, think that way until all their comments and posts are so thick with ........never mind, you know what I mean. They are linear, complicated, padded with words so as to make them almost meaningless.

Your comment above is naive but at OL that's the way you have to write to be accepted by them. It signals a yes/no; right/wrong; agree/disagree response request forcing the responder back into the accepted Discourse of the dialectic

I hope this is clear to you. If not just say so. I'll try again.

leonid here we go qualifying

seymourblogger's picture

then qualifying the qualifiers. You is on the wrong site boy!

Yes our army volunteers and then they are paid for that volunteering so they take volunteers and turn them into mercenaries. No different from Caesar and his legionaires, a highly effective force BTW.

If it's contradictions you want then read the bios on Rand. Heller and Burns point out more than a few.

One. Just one leonid. Just one.

Rand in I believe, For the New Intellectual (?), (qualifiers in here in case Belle d'Fuddle is reading this or BB or one of her other very good friends - hen hao peng you) wanted her essay on JFK included which was negative. He had just been shot and Cerf wouldn't include it. Rand got hissy - you know the way I get hissy over at that other site whose name shall not be mentioned -and said it had to be in there. Cerf said no so she took it away from RHouse. And Rand and Cerf said goodbye for good.

When it was published by some other pub co , that essay was left out. Not exactly the kind of contradiction you were looking for but sort of.

Now that's it leonid. No more.

Seymourblogger wrote:Didn't

Xray's picture

Seymourblogger wrote:
"Didn't know Kelley and Peikoff were at odds.

I am out of the loop I guess. Ah, no wonder........" [end quote]

Have you been 'away' from Objectivism for a long time? The Peikoff-Kelley split was THE schism in the Objectivist Movement.

seymourblogger wrote:"No

Xray's picture

seymourblogger wrote:
"No x-ray I have said on OL that I do not have a dog in this fight." [end quote]

Yes you have said that you have no dog in this fight.
But don't comments by you like e. g. applauding Peikoff for trying to keep Objectivism closed convey that you think he is doing the right thing?

On Rand and draft

Leonid's picture

"All her arguments will be based on the dialectic however, so her inconsistencies begin to leak out the edges, and contradictions start rearing up."

I'd be very much interested to see few examples of inconsistencies and contradictions.

"If you did not draft people to serve, if being in the military meant serving voluntarily, then you would end up with a mercenary army."

Von Mises was wrong about it, he was the one who didn't think to the end. If you don't draft people, you would end up not with mercenary but voluntary army. The difference is that mercenaries are willing to risk their life just for money. The volunteers risk their life to protect their country, that is-the set of values and principles on which the society is based. The only proper function of military in is a protection of territorial integrity of the country from the foreign invasion and protection of the country's interests abroad. ( obviously such interests based on the country dominant philosophy). If , as some people claim, without draft it wouldn't be enough soldiers to protect the country, then such a country doesn't deserve to be protected. Such a society should re-evaluate its values.

leonid interesting way to say it

seymourblogger's picture

Open systems are tautological systems, turning around and biting their own tails. Hegel's dialectic proceeds linearly into the horizon of idealism which ever recedes from us. So it keeps going.

Rand and Nietzsche are circular or spiral might be a good way to envision them. Nietzsche was in despair over the Eternal Return. Rand denied this, and she was very young when she did. Not at an age where she could tolerate thinking like that as it would have oppressed her. So she wrote about the horror of circular action - cooking and cleaning - in favor of building and developing a world that would get better and better. So she moved from Nietzsche here to enter linearity because it suited her feelings. In this way she defies Nietzsche and is forced to break with him consciously while at the same time he is interfaced with her mind and thinking in many many ways.

So to quote Baudrillard, Nietzsche went underground in her mind and sank roots deep in her being, unbeknownst to her, revealing in her characters and actions of her characters and in her life.

Niezsche is a relational system. Every concept relates to every other and Rand built on this. It was and is an important aspect of Objectivism. So whom you choose to sleep with relates to your moral values, and your moral values relate toyour economic practices, your psychology relates to all of the above and if you espouse one and deny the other, Nietzsche will label you a hypocrite and so will Rand., but at this level it feels circular, not linear. All her arguments will be based on the dialectic however, so her inconsistencies begin to leak out the edges, and contradictions start rearing up.

But this relational aspect can't exist without being in a closed system. It feels like a dilemma when you begin to think seriously about it. It kind of twists your mind around and around.

Of course Nietzsche was well aware of this, which is why he did not formalize his thoughts into an integrated system of logic. He saw where the flaws would be in doing that. Rand did not.

The reason being that Rand never thought through anything until the end, until.......Death. Not her love affair with a much younger man, and not her philosophy. And this comes back to bite her.

Canetti constantly discusses Death. Baudrillard also. Thinking something through until the end. As an example Rand and Von Mises differed on the issue of the draft, on conscription, during the Viet Nam war. Rand was against it because it was a violation of someone free will, a forcing of participation when the person did not wish to participate for whatever reason. Von Mises argued strongly for it for this reason: If you did not draft people to serve, if being in the military meant serving voluntarily, then you would end up with a mercenary army. And this is exactly what we have today. And our govt wishes to use the subjects at their disposal that the govt is paying for. Why pay to keep them sitting when they can be paid for performing.

So here Von Mises is going to the end with his thinking and Rand is not. I also at the time was on the side of Rand because I was not thinking all the way to the end. Well we are here at the end now. We have a very large mercenary military force that is being used so our govt can feel justified at the money it is spending to keep them at the ready.

Things get very sticky and complicated when you begin to think all the way to the end. Margaret Thatcher now is 81, senile with Alzheimers. a terrible end for a woman like her. Does she have moments when the awareness startles her? Does she just never know? Unfortunately there are now issues becoming ripe enough for us to see how they are going to play out, and no one now has the will to stop them, curb them, eliminate them before it is too late. No one is in charge.

And isn't this what Donald Trump said tonight in his interview? There is a mighty difference between thinking long term and short term and short term has won the day recently.

Close and open

Leonid's picture

All philosophical systems in a sense are closed systems, all of them build on the certain set of basic premises. Suppose you remove the idea of Form from Platonism, the principle of non-contradiction from Aristotle, categories and universalization from Kant, will to power and overman from Nietzsche, dialectics and unity of contradiction from Hegel, etc...what would be left from them? Just incoherent floating abstractions. However philosophy is not just intellectual exercise, like chess game. Philosopher should be able to apply his ideas to the real life and provide answers which pertain to it. If he does it within the set of the basic premises, then there is no limit how far he can develop his philosophy. Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff and many other Objectivists did and still do it continuously. Therefore, in the sense of the ability of permanent development Objectivism is very much open system.

Didn't know Kelley and Peikoff were at odds.

seymourblogger's picture

I am out of the loop I guess. Ah, no wonder........

x-ray here's another post on Foucault and Nietzsche

seymourblogger's picture

Here's another post of Foucault and Nietzsche through the Looking Glass: http://intellectualterrorism2....

since you said I hadn't said anything about Foucault and post modernism may I remind you that I had links below each and every comment and post. They were not there to be ignored.

May I ask you if you really think I should have taught a course at OL on Foucault's ideas. (He does not present ideas but a method to uncover and reveal the meaning hidden and inherent in ideas rather than ideas themselves which are ready-mades: freedom; patriotism; loyalty; integrity; well you get the idea.)

Each post I have done on my blogs has been as well thought out as I was capable of doing at the time I wrote it. I saw no reason at OL to reinvent the wheel.

If you wish, feel free to copy, import anything you want from what I say here or on any of my blogs. My only request is that you link to the context it came from. I want no quotes of mine without access to the context from which they came. How's that for an over-corrected LeBovian sentence.

You all could have had exactly what you wanted if you had just linked and asked questions. But most preferred private tutoring on site or attacking.

You are responsible for what you write

seymourblogger's picture

Genet and Burroughs came to say this at about the same time. And in thinking about Rand, she is responsible for what she wrote. This is not to say she is the cause of the movement into deregulation, just that her writing is responsible for it. And lest I be misunderstood, deregulation was a consequence of multiple variables, not a direct cause and effect relation.

DeLillo has been heralded as the clairvoyant predictor of a number of disasters. Is he responsible? An interesting question to think about. The 2008 meltdown certainly feels like Eric Packer's forced meltdown in Cosmopolis.

And I am rethinking Rand's contribution to this reality.

No x-ray I have said on OL

seymourblogger's picture

that I do not have a dog in this fight. Some have tried to make a career out of it and I guess it has paid off. See Sciabarra excellent objective analysis of this problem as he doesn't have a dog in this fight either. He outlines why Rand wanted it closed, as it gave her the control she wanted over her work. She knew as soon as it opened up she would lose that control. She did. Think Lenin's strategies. And Stalin's and revisionism.

Peikoff is continuing her wishes. I think no one else would have had the staying power to do that, to preserve her wishes. The Rand followers who regard Objectivism as open have and are arguing endlessly how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. They demonize Peikoff for controlling her legacy, the legacy that she wanted it to be.

Open and closed have advantages and disadvantages and different consequences. Who am I to say which is right and which is not?

Nice to see you x-ray.

I wrote more about Foucault and Rand today on criminals, doers of hideous crimes, and why I read Rand through Foucault, so take a look at the comments below the post: It's on Rand and Nietzsche at http://intellectualterrorists2... or terrorist is singular. Anyway you can click the link at OL on any one of my comments or posts.

Objectivism as a closed system

Xray's picture

Seymourblogger wrote:
"We know that Peikoff has kept Rand's Objectivism enclosed in a closed system. Others have not and have advocated for it to be an open system to allow for change and growth.

My reading of that is: open it up for spinning." (Sb) [end quote]

Do your above comments allow the inference that you are closed-system advocate?

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